I grew up watching horror films, particularly the Hammer films. They were gory, dark and truly scary. A few gave me nightmares. When a new genre of horror films opened up that incorporated comedy, I wasn’t scared any more. Some featured my favorite horror actor, the legendary Vincent Price.
I’ve listed the top ten funny horror movies for you to enjoy. Believe me, it was a tight contest. There are so many good and bad films that have something funny in them. They all have a scary story line, but the script, the acting and the props are funny. You’ll laugh and shake at the same time. These movies come from different years and studios; you can watch them online, rent or buy the DVD’s. Having a collection of these movies to play on Halloween or anytime would be a real treat.
Before showing any of these films to younger children, view them first and make an informed decision. There are films listed here the entire family can enjoy; others should be viewed by older audiences.
1. I Sell The Dead
This recent film offering from 2008 features Ron Perlman, Dominic Monaghan and Brenda Cooney. The story is about a pair of grave robbers who are facing the gallows. One character is telling his story to a priest who is eager to get everything down on paper. What follows is a story you’ll never forget, with an ending that will have you howling with laughter. You’ll also receive advice for the ages, “Never trust a corpse.”
2. The Trouble With Harry
In 1955, Alfred Hitchcock gave audiences something they never expected and would always remember as a classic horror comedy. In this wonderful black-and-white film, the incomparable Cary Grant steals the show without saying a word. He does it without moving, either. You see, he plays a corpse. One that just won’t stay put. You have to see this film to believe it. No CGI, no nudity, no gore, blood, or cursing. Just pure, wonderful acting and a fantastic story line.
3. Young Frankenstein
Only Mel Brooks had the courage to take a horror classic like Frankenstein and do something irreverent with it. Madeline Kahn, Gene Wilder, Teri Garr and a host of wonderful actors portray (or butcher) the Frankenstein story in a way you’ll love forever. Oh, yeah- it’s a love story, too. You have to see it to believe it.
4. Love At First Bite
George Hamilton is well known in Hollywood for his dramatic acting. In this 1979 film, he takes things over the top as a lonely Count Dracula. His castle is seized by the local government, which means he’s homeless. With Artie Johnson as Renfield, he packs up and comes to America to meet the supermodel he’s seen in magazines. What happens next has to be seen to be believed.
5. The Frighteners
Got ghosts? Call a paranormal exterminator. Michael J. Fox plays a paranormal expert who rids homes of spooks, haunts and ghosts, for a fee. The problem is, the ghosts are his friends and they work together. There is an element of horror to this story, but by and large, it is hilarious.
6. The Evil Dead
The Evil Dead series of films have become a cult classic. Bruce Campbell plays a character besieged by demonic spirits determined to possess him and turn him into a murderous zombie. The acting is over the top; the props and makeup are campy and interspersed throughout the films is enough comedy to keep you giggling. Check out the laughing deer head in the second film. Singing Bass, move over.
7. Ghostbusters II
The first Ghostbusters film was meant to give us all a lot of laughs, and it still does today. The second film has a darker story line; that of a truly evil sociopath that wants to return from the dead to wreak havoc on the world. To accomplish this, he has to have a mortal body. A baby’s body. Specifically, Dana Barrett’s baby. Dana, the former girlfriend of Dr. Peter Venkman, a member of the Ghostbusters. There is enough laughter to offset the tense moments; you’ll cheer at the end.
8. The Little Shop Of Horrors
No horror comedy film list would be complete without this timeless 1960 classic. Imagine picking up an unusual plant and growing it just to see what it is. When it turns out to be carnivorous, you feed it flies; when it wants blood, well, watch the film. Jack Nicholson has one of his earliest and creepiest film roles as a dental patient who wants pain. Yikes.
9. The Comedy of Terrors
This 1963 film stars Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Joe E. Brown and more. Price plays an undertaker who can’t pay his rent because business is bad. Whoever thought undertaking would have streaks of no business? Through a series of “unfortunate events,” business miraculously picks up. Peter Lorre plays the assistant who doesn’t know if he’s coming or going- to the gallows, that is. This B&W film had me howling with laughter as a child. I still laugh every time I watch it.
10. Bud Abbott, Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
Imagine Dracula, a bride of Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello all in one movie. There are brief tense moments when you think something bad is going to happen, but hey, this is Abbott and Costello. As scary as some scenes might start out to be, you’ll soon be laughing. This is one 1948 B&W film you can show the whole family. Imagine what you would do if you were suddenly face to face with Hollywood’s scariest monsters.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and a consummate movie fan.